Should dogs and cats be vaccinated?

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Dog in Tanzania

It is recommended that dogs and cats be vaccinated using inactivated rabies vaccines. If foxes are the sole reservoir for rabies in a country/region, vaccinating only dogs and cats will not, in itself, control wildlife rabies, but will prevent infections in domestic animals and limit transmission to humans.

For this reason, vaccination is compulsory in some countries, sometimes only in rabies-endemic regions. Other approaches leave the decision to the owner, but vaccination is motivated by the fact that vaccinated animals can benefit by not being infected with rabies and avoiding stringent restrictions in case of contacts with rabies infected animals, e.g. killing in case of suspicion, quarantine etc..


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012